“Redemption”, “Salvation”, “Cross”, “Crucified”, are words/verbs we use so commonly. We understand them – certainly – but in a general way. We don’t always get the chance to deepen them. Maybe because they are too obvious, too known, unquestionable.
Let us go deeper, if you will.
Good theology contemplates Jesus on the Cross, and the “work” He does in a deep way. The Cross (the Crucified, and His Work) has at least three layers:
1- the Suffering of the Body (tortured, beaten, bleeding…),
2- the Suffering of the Soul (carrying our darkness, our filth, our distance from God-Light (our sins), being torn between us and His own light, dislocated by that distance… the Lamb carrying our filth),
3- the Spirit (not the Holy Spirit but the eye of Jesus’ Soul), in Peace and Joy, profoundly deep, not seen, not felt by his Body-Soul, but nonetheless present. He is realising the greatest thing on the Cross, the Will of the Father: coming out of himself, out of love, going toward us, grabbing us, and bringing us back to the Light, the Father’s Home (see, below, the House on the right).
In a way, Jesus’ arms are not held tight by the nails on the wood of the Cross. His Soul is holding us, very tight, his body holding our body, and his soul our soul. All this happens by the operation of the Holy Spirit (see, below, the dove on top of Jesus).
It is important to see deeper beyond appearances and reach the depth of the Love of God on the Cross and discover new depths in it.
This Cross (from El Salvador), depicts what I am trying to say about the deep reality happening on the Cross.
I hope that, by looking at this Cross, you’ll be able to contemplate Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and what He did and is still doing for you. When St. Paul contemplated Jesus on the Cross, he said: “he loved me and died for me”. Let us not live far from the surrounding area of the Cross, an area filled with the Love and Embrace of Jesus.
Here is what Jesus does when He sees us coming within the precincts of the Cross: “But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4-5)
If you want to continue to contemplate this beautiful Cross, here are some suggestions:
Mary is the Flower below Jesus.
Another form of the same Cross has on the left, green fields, which represent Heavenly Grass (God’s nature) for the Sheep.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, […] he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. […] Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. […] if anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. […] I came that they may have Life, and have it abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. […] I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So, there shall be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10)